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Energy storage experts at the University of Birmingham and the University of Science & Technology Beijing (USTB) have won a major funding award from the Chinese government for a joint doctoral research programme.

The two universities set up the Joint Centre for Energy & Environment Research and Education (CEERE) just over a year ago and colleagues at the research facility have now secured funding for a joint PhD programme.

The three-year programme will enable eight PhD students each year from USTB to study on projects in energy storage technologies and materials at the University of Birmingham’s Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage.


Dr Bing Liu, Head of International Engagement of Birmingham Energy Institute, who helps to develop and manage the CEERE, said: “Winning this highly competitive fund from the Chinese government is extremely timely for CEERE as we strive to launch a series of joint research and education programmes.

“We look forward to working closely with our CEERE colleagues for more progress in 2017. The University of Birmingham’s partnership with USTB is testament to our growing reputation in China as we work with Chinese peers to deliver high-quality research and education that has a global impact.”

The China Scholarship Council recently announced the funding award, as part of the 2017 ‘International Cooperation Programme for Innovative Talents’ funded projects list. The Birmingham-Beijing joint application was selected from over 100 outstanding applications across China, and will be a major boost for research activities in CEERE.

CEERE was established in November 2015 and has seen staff and student exchanges, joint grants applications and joint research publications, as well as the development of student degree programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Ms Kanjun Guo, Director of International Office of USTB, said: “It’s great to hear that the joint programme of cultivating top innovative talents by both USTB and the University of Birmingham has been approved by the Chinese government. This is a good start for our two universities in working together to develop the long-term future of CEERE.”

The "Energy Conservation and Environmental Functional Materials Innovation and Top-notch Talent Development Project" jointly announced by our university and Birmingham University has won the approval from more than 100 high-level projects.”

During a recent visit to USTB, Professor Andy Schofield, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, and Professor Martin Freer, Director of Birmingham Energy Institute, were awarded an Honorary Professorship and a Visiting Professorship respectively.


For more information or interviews, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out of hours media enquiries, please call: +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

· The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
· The University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB) was founded in 1952 following the amalgamation of the best departments in related fields of five eminent universities as a result of a nationwide reorganization of the higher education system. It has developed into one of the most influential key national universities sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Education. USTB is renowned for its study of metallurgy and materials science. Its main focus is on engineering, whilst maintaining a balanced programme of science, management, humanities, economics and law.

· The "International Cooperation Program for Innovative Talents" was established by the China Scholarship Council in line with the Chinese Government’s national strategy for educating and training more innovative and complex international talents.